5 Times Bobby Hill Was Ahead of the Culture
If we ever see TikTokers hoofing each other in the groin as part of the “That’s My Purse Challenge,” I hope we’ll all know who to credit.
In all of King of the Hill, there is perhaps no character more forward-thinking and progressive than the pudgy, sensitive, up-and-coming comedian Bobby Hill. Oftentimes, the very foundation of the show is built upon the juxtaposition between Bobby’s new-age views on masculinity and his father Hank’s decidedly traditional stance on, well, everything. Hank is as old-fashioned as they make them down in Arlen, which is certainly saying something for the small Texas town, so the contrast between the two is as stark as night and day. In almost every way, Bobby was ahead of his time while Hank was hopelessly stuck in his own.
Within the next year, King of the Hill fans will be treated with a revival season courtesy of Mike Judge and Hulu, and we’ll get to see how the Hills have adapted to modern times in the 14 years since the show first went off the air. One character may awake to find that modern culture has shifted drastically to fit his own sensibilities — and that the modeling career he put on hold might not be so far-fetched after all. Here are the times Bobby Hill was miles ahead of everyone else…
Bobby Was into the Other Football Before It Was Cool
Thanks to the dawn of illegal sports streaming and the cultural power of Ted Lasso, the last few years have seen a spike in interest among American sports fans in the pastime known only to us as soccer. Nowadays, when you ask a young American what their favorite football team is, you’re alarmingly likely to have to answer the follow-up question of, “Which football?”
Well, Bobby traded helmets for headers all the way back in 1999 in the episode “Three Coaches and a Bobby,” in which he and half of the Cougars youth football team abandoned the sport of their fathers for greener pitches, leading Bobby to ask Hank, “Why do you have to hate what you don’t understand?” Though the kids would all eventually return to the “football” where the ball in question is more of a leather egg, Bobby was already ahead of the rest of the country simply by dipping his cleats in the water of the world’s most popular sport.
Bobby Had An Inanimate Girlfriend Before Anyone Knew The Phrase ‘Waifu Pillow’
Men have been sexualizing inanimate objects since we first discovered that hunks of rocks could be carved into fertility statues, but falling in love with one is a very recent degeneration. Nowadays, terminally online people like myself are uncomfortably accustomed to hearing about some sad nerd who married a pillow with a crusty image of a 13-year-old manga character splayed across it. But in 1997, Bobby broke ground by catching feelings for a mannequin head.
In the episode “Plastic White Female,” Bobby decides to brush up on his kissing skills by stealing the head of a practice dummy Luanne was using for beauty school, only to decide that he’d like to test out his talents in every facet of courtship, buying the head flowers, laying in the grass with it and pushing it on a rope swing. However, like most instances of young love, the relationship ends abruptly — Hank ends up putting the head under a spinning saw.
Bobby Was A Pioneer for Plus-Sized Models
Nowadays, every makeup company and moisturizer brand is eager to appeal to the entire body-size spectrum as bigger models enjoy the most plus-sized job market they’ve ever had. However, the body-positivity movement didn’t suddenly appear out of thin air. No, each rung of that reinforced ladder had to be built by an early activist who dared to embrace their every pound. Bobby Hill was one such trailblazer.
In “Husky Bobby,” the positively portly preteen defies his father’s wishes and accepts a gig as a model for H. Dumpty’s, a hilariously named plus-sized clothing retailer. However, Hank’s efforts are eventually fruitful as he hauls his sizable son away from a fat-friendly fashion show just as the other performers are pelted with donuts thrown by fatshamers.
Bobby Wasn’t Afraid to Platonically Appreciate How Hot His Dude Friends Were
While women have been checking each other out for generations without assigning sexual intention to their aesthetic appreciation, homophobia has long kept heterosexual men from acknowledging how hot their buddies are — well, except for Bobby and Joseph.
In the 1998 episode “I Remember Mono,” Hank gasps at Bobby’s decision to send his platonic best friend a valentine with a Sweetheart candy bearing the message, “Hey Hot Stuff!” Bobby maturely replies with complete comfort in his heterosexuality, “Why not? He is hot stuff! You should see him skateboard.”
Bobby Was F- Boy Averse Before Promiscuous Men Had Their Comeuppance
The old adage on the difference in cultural perception of sexuality between genders goes as, “Women who sleep around are called sluts, men who sleep around are called players.” Men have long been encouraged to have as many sexual “conquests” as they can while women are stuck with the expectations of chastity, but Bobby Hill felt their pain.
Today, young men are deemed “f- boys” when they think about nothing but their next lay, and those lotharios are frowned upon by the younger generation of women. Simultaneously, female sexuality is more encouraged and accepted than it’s ever been in this puritanical country. Therefore, Bobby’s iconic utterance in just the second episode of “I’m a little worried about being a slut” has taken on a new meaning as men are finally being taught to keep it in their pants.